For several years, I have noticed a “quirk” about Kara that I have never been quite able to put into words and explain. It has to do with how she learns. I used to get really frustrated because sometimes she’d seem to know something one day, and then be completely in the dark about that same thing the very next day. Other times, it almost seemed like she’d pretend not to understand things that I knew she did understand. I’ve learned that these things are just part of Kara being “Kara” and have learned how to deal with them.
Most recently, this has been most clearly shown in her learning to read. She has made great progress in the last few weeks of first grade, but almost on a daily basis I have had to remind her that if she knows a word when she sees it, she doesn’t have to sound it out. Smooth reading has definitely not been her style. In fact, her style leans much more towards robotic perfectionism, if that makes any sense!
Anyway, I had begun to wonder if all of this reading struggle was another one of Kara’s quirky things, and I knew that eventually it would all make sense to her, and she’d do what she normally does: improve instantaneously! Well, the picture for this entry that she drew for Luke this past weekend was my first clue that she is actually reading more than she thinks she can. She did this all on her own, so not all of the words are spelled correctly, but I was surprised at how many were–not what I’d expect with how difficult she makes reading! Well, last Monday night during American Heritage Girls, she really turned a corner on the whole thing. We were supposed to read a passage out of the Bible, and she asked if she could help me read it. “This will take forever!” I thought, but I decided to let her read the easy words like the, and, He, etc. As we went on, though, I let her read more and more of the words, until she was reading the whole thing by herself! I told her, “Wait a minute! You just read out of that grown-up Bible, and you read very easily and well! If you can do that, don’t you think you can read out of your first grade reader?” So, we got out her reader, and I told her to read just like what she was doing in the Bible. The difference was amazing. I guess she thought reading should be hard, not realizing that she has been doing it for a long time!
So, this quirky pattern is one that repeats itself in a variety of situations and ways. I’ve learned to recognize it, and it helps me not to get frustrated and impatient. She’s a very smart girl, and she learns in her own unique way!
Here is a video of Kara’s improved reading:
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